Prairie City SVRA Road and Trail Management Plan

Trails are a key component of off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation and are critical to fulfilling the mission of California State Parks and the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Program. Roads and trails provide access to most, if not all, motorized recreation opportunities within State Vehicular Recreation Areas (SVRAs). Sound trail management requires implementing a variety of actions, including:

  • maintaining trails that provide interesting and environmentally sustainable places for the public to recreate;
  • conserving and protecting natural and cultural resources by applying soil conservation standards and other best management practices (BMPs) to sustain lands for OHV recreation;
  • educating the public in safe and environmentally responsible OHV use and land management;
  • restoring sensitive ecological areas that have been impacted and damaged by OHV use; and,
  • restoring trails and areas that do not meet the 2020 Soil Conservation Standards and Guidelines (Soil Standards) and the OHV Best Management Practices Manual for Erosion and Sediment Control (OHV BMP Manual).

The OHMVR Division is committed to providing the highest quality trails for a diverse group of recreational users by planning and developing trails pursuant to California State Parks Trails Policy:

The Department of Parks and Recreation, through a public planning process, will strive to meet the recreational, educational, and interpretation needs of its diverse trail users by developing trails within state park units consistent with unit classification, general plan directives, cultural and natural resource protection, public safety, accessibility, use compatibility, and other legal and policy mandates. Multi-use trails and trail connectivity with adjacent public trail systems will be considered in the development of trail plans or individual trails (Departmental Policy Notice no. 2005-06).

Plan Purpose and Need

The purpose of the Road and Trail Management Plan (RTMP) is to provide specific guidance and direction for implementing the goals and guidelines of the 2016 Prairie City SVRA General Plan. The RTMP is a comprehensive planning document that examines the SVRA’s existing system of roads and provides specific direction for their long-term construction, maintenance, and management. It considers current and potential public use, park operations, and the protection and enhancement of cultural and natural resources to ensure recreational trail opportunities are made available at their fullest potential. Comprehensive trail planning also considers regional recreational opportunities and connectivity and includes extensive public outreach and input into the design of new trails and experiences.

Specifically, this plan will:

  • design a trail system/trail tread that can receive regular grooming and offer challenges desired by the SVRA visitors;
  • design new or modify existing trails for specific types of motorized vehicles (e.g. 4x4, all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes, and Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles);
  • design new or modify existing trails for non-motorized recreation opportunities;
  • make recommendations to keep and adopt, eliminate or re-align non-system (user-created) trails;
  • make recommendations to restore, eliminate, or re-align roads and trails that are not environmentally or ecologically sustainable;
  • prioritize maintenance needs;
  • identify projects that will improve circulation, connectivity between park use areas, and reduce conflict between user groups; and,
  • identify potential trail facilities, such as staging areas, restrooms, and other visitor service facilities.

Previous Public Input

Prairie City SVRA held two stakeholder workshops to gather feedback on potential OHV route and trail development. The first meeting was held on October 10, 2017.The goals of this meeting were to introduce stakeholders to the road and trail management plan process; gather information about existing trail use, visitor needs, and expectations; and, to hear suggestions about potential trail routes and desired motorized and non-motorized recreation opportunities. The second stakeholder workshop was held on April 7, 2018. This meeting allowed the planning team to present planning concepts and alternatives and receive input from stakeholders.

California State Parks is working towards completion of the Prairie City SVRA Road and Trail Management Plan. Next steps include more opportunities for public participation, finalizing the proposed plan, and environmental review of the proposed plan in compliance with CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act).

Do you have other suggestions or questions about the RTMP? Let us know at trails@parks.ca.gov.

Data Collection

The first stage of the planning process is to develop an inventory of the road and trail system in the park, including features, structures, and erosion severity. This information is used to evaluate road and trail conditions and associated impacts on natural and cultural resources. 

Existing Roads and Trails
This map shows existing roads and trails within Prairie City SVRA.

Erosion Severity
This map shows the severity of erosion along roads and trails within Prairie City SVRA. 

Landscape Features
This map set identifies unstable landscapes, aquatic environments, and other landscape features within Prairie City SVRA.

Road and Trail Structures Problem Severity
This map shows structural road and trail problems within Prairie City SVRA.

Water Resources
The map shows the potential for trail and road features to impact water resources within Prairie City SVRA and the condition of drainage structures along roads and trails.

Sustainability
This map shows the sustainability of roads and trails within Prairie City SVRA and general recommendations for maintenance.